We rejoin our hero on the Plains of Narzboneskinsavleur, on the eve of the fourth and most awe-inspiring Battle of Seven Voughs. Once again, and ever more improbably, he has managed to acquire Earth-style comic books. An excerpt from his war-diary:
Joe the Barbarian No. 3 (of 8)
This is a fantastic comic, and it just keeps getting better. If you’re not already reading this series, well, I think that you should be. Here are the basics:
Joe is a kid with a sort-of-rough life: tough time at school, single parent household with money troubles, etc. Joe has diabetes and, distracted by rough-life issues, has mismanaged his blood sugar and is in big, life-threatening danger. Joe the Barbarian is about his epic journey from attic bedroom to the kitchen to get a soda.
Thrillsville, right? Ah, but Joe’s essentially dying on his feet - traveling two floors downward might be more than he is physically capable of. Plus, he’s hallucinating pretty hard, so that stopping in the bathroom to splash water on his face becomes an issue-long sojourn among the sewer pirates.
Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy are doing a terrific job of interweaving Joe’s two quests: Morrison’s trademark super-insanity works so much better for me as a contrast to the stark reality of the house than in the undiluted form of something like Seaguy, and Murphy’s art - and especially his attention to detail in bringing real-world elements into the hallucination - is a wonderful fit for the fantasy-world-gone-wrong feel of the whole thing.
PLUS! Morrison is introducing hints that the hallucination world might me more than just the fantasy of a dying boy.
PLUS PLUS! I’m kind of half worried that Joe might die - no free ride happy ending guarantee here.
I am going to buy the trade and force everyone I care about to read it, I hereby swear.
Superman 80-Page Giant No. 1 - You know what I like? Anthology comics that don’t have any stinkers in them. And this didn’t! Everything looked nice, all of the stories featured Superman being a really cool, really human guy and there were a fair number of fun ideas, like the story that was just a bunch of bank robbers talking about the relative downsides of being apprehended by various super-heroes, or the idea that a bored Superman might toss a piano out the window just for the fun of swooping in and rescuing it from destruction. And it lasted me through the bulk of my lunch break!
The Brave and the Bold No. 32 - Okay: Aquaman and the Demon is a pretty great teamup. It’s almost like this book and the cartoon of the same name got their casting mixed up. Maybe the sailor was originally Batman? More importantly, though, the plot concerns an evil extra-dimensional entity that invades our world and forms an army from the bodies of the dead, and it resolves in one issue. Did DC just kick its own ass?
Green Lantern Corps No. 46 - And speaking of the event du jour, do Guy Gardner and his ragtag band of misfits in this book seem way more competent than the all-star team over in Blackest Night? There just seems to be a lot less flailing around and screwing up and a lot more... good plans that actually work, especially as this comic seems to be happening in a much longer period of time (by which I mean that Hal Jordan and co. eff things up about seventy times in a half hour or so, from what I can tell). Also: fridgeform Black Lantern!
Here the document ends, the final pages ruined by a great quantity of fuath ichor. History does not record what became of the author.